Working at home could save on auto insurance

March 7, 2012 9:35:56 AM PST
Working from home can be a big money saver for the companies that don't have to provide office space and to the workers who don't have to commute. 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney recently took a look at an often overlooked work-at-home savings.

If you work from home, the cost of gasoline isn't much of a concern, ditto on the cost of dry cleaning. There are a lot of benefits and savings and here's one you don't want to miss out on.

Were you commuting this morning?

Up early and out on the roads, Tully Lehman used to drive to work. Now, his commute involves going in his front door and turning left into his home office. "Well, like some businesses in the Bay Area, they may be downsizing their office space and having some of their employees working from home. I am now one of those employees working from home," he says.

Officing at home is saving him wear and tear on his car. He's avoiding the high cost of gasoline and one more thing, as an insurance industry spokesperson, Tully knows to call his insurance company and report the reduced miles. "Three primary factors in California determine your insurance cost: Your record, your driving experience and of course, the number of miles you drive. So, if you are not commuting and are now working from home, you are driving less and you'll want to call your agent and let them know you are not driving as much as you used to," he explains.

Many who are working at home forget to report the mileage reduction to their insurance companies and they are missing out on some easy money. Tully is saving just shy of $200 a year.

"Under State Farm's 'Drive Safe and Save' program, the discounts range from zero to 45 percent," says Jake Stewart, a State Farm agent in San Francisco.

Stewart says the company's new multi-tiered mileage program can offer huge savings to those working at home. He also says any big life change is worth a call to your insurance company or agent. "We encourage our clients to give us call any time they experience a life change. It could be a job change. It could be a baby. It could be a home purchase. Because these changes will always influence what our recommendations will be for them," he says.

All insurance companies offer low-mileage discounts, but some are much better than others so, they are worth shopping.


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